WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 8, 2008) – The Solomon Islands government has formally apologised to the local Chinese Community over destruction caused to their businesses during the April riots in 2006.

The April 18 riots caused destruction to businesses owned by the local Chinese community in Honiara.

The deputy Prime Minister, Fred Fono, formally relayed the government’s apology to the Chinese community at a function to mark the start of the Chinese Lunar year of the Rat.

Mr Fono says the government is sorry for what happened and promised to work closely with the Chinese Association to rebuild destructed parts of China Town.

Mr Fono says to kick start the process of rebuilding China town, a Chairman for the Honiara Town and Country Planning Board has been appointed.

Mr Fono also used the chance to encourage Chinese businesses to move into other areas such as manufacturing to employ more Solomon Islanders.

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